Crittenden Reservoir

I continue to travel as well as host and guide anglers at many of my favorite fisheries. I am delighted to introduce anglers to the lakes where I guide whether they are just starting out or been fishing for years. If you seek the challenge of fishing locations that support large trout, join me!

Many lakes now are suffering low water levels and high temperatures due to drought. However, I want to share with you one lake that is still in relatively good shape due to the natural springs that daily feed it: Crittenden Reservoir.

Crittenden Reservoir, near Montello, Nevada is a stillwater fishing destination anglers should consider visiting this fall and next spring. Probably the biggest appeal about this location is the size and aggressiveness of the fish.

A 200-acre lake, Crittenden is stocked yearly, and you can often catch fish up to 10 lbs. With luck, trout up to 30 inches can occasionally be caught. Rainbow, tigers, and an occasional brown trout, as well as largemouth bass are plentiful, hard hitting, and aggressive. Do not use light tippets here. I use 0X to 1X leaders.

This rustic location is located at the end of a high desert canyon 20 miles outside of Montello on the Wine Cup Ranch. It is renowned in the West as a premier trout fishery.

Originally constructed in 1955 to provide water for cattle and irrigation needs, the reservoir is fed by a natural spring system that supplies the lake with thousands of gallons of water daily. Drawdowns during the summer for irrigation can drop the lake 4-7 feet by the fall months.

When the water drops, willows which are normally submerged underwater appear above the surface. These areas are a mecca for trout.

A fly-fishing catch and release fishery, I recommend 6-7 weight rods, strong tippets, and only barbless hooks.

The lake is currently down 4½ feet. I expect the water levels to continue to drop down about seven feet by September. However, this is not a bad thing: lower water levels concentrate the fish which offers an advantage to the angler.

Many people stay at the Pilot Motel in Montello. Primitive camping is available for free at the lake. You do not need a fishing license to fish this private lake.

If you would like to join me, I am hosting anglers there this fall on September 21-23 and October 1-2, 2021. Those who would like to join me can call or register on my web site.

Fall Patterns for Crittenden: If you are considering going this fall, my Predator Minnow is my go-to pattern early and late in the day when fish are hunting next to the shoreline. My Predator Leech and Predator Bugger patterns are productive once the trout start feeding deeper in the water column. When fishing in shallows or on top and around the willows I use my UV Crystal Pupa or Grizzly Bug.

 Yikes! I would hate to be a small fry and have this guy come after me!

Call me if you want to learn more about the trip, or if you have any other questions!

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